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Urban Outfitters makes new data play

Fashion retailer Urban Outfitters is looking to centralise its customer data as part of a new investment in software.

Data collected from existing operational systems and customer feedback, including consumer insights, will now be held on tech company Qualtrics’ XM Platform, the retailer announced on Tuesday evening.

By combining operational data and experience data - described by Qualtrics as O-data and X-data, respectively - Urban Outfitters is expected to speed up the time it takes to act on customer insights.

Tracey Strober, global director of retail solutions and customer experience at Urban Outfitters, said the company wanted to equip its leaders and store managers with “insights they can act on".

Urban Outfitters will use the new system to collect feedback beyond customer surveys, and will be able to run text and sentiment analysis on their X-data to help shape decision making.

"As a leading retailer, we are constantly evaluating new ways to provide the most seamless experience for our customers,” explained Strober.

Retailers worldwide continue to look for new ways to handle their data and make better business use of the information they hold about their shoppers.

But analyst group Gartner said earlier this year that, although many recognise data is the great enabler for marketing effectiveness, only 29% of marketers report they are actively participating in advance analytics modelling.

“Marketers either don’t know the data they have or don’t know what to do with it,” said Mike Froggatt, director at Gartner.

“In fact, 40% are ‘exploring’ while a third are building their reporting. As a result, brands struggle with adapting to a data-driven mindset that can influence marketing strategy.”

Gartner research shows that more than eight in ten marketers across multiple sectors anticipate making their marketing decisions based on analytics within the next year, with companies viewing it as imperative if they are to maintain or surpass their peers.

“Brands already have the data, like pieces of a puzzle, most just need to better understand how to leverage that data to drive decision making and guide their digital strategies,” Froggatt remarked.